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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,876 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,876
Hads: 10,528
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 246
Gots: 2,410 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-05-2001

Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,876 | Hads: 10,528
Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A CLASSIC, what can I say about this beer. Well, it pours a nice dark amber colour into my pint glass, with not that much of a head to be found. It smells of *raspberries*, fruity hops, and some nice background malts. It tastes more of the same, hoppy, malty, fruity, bitter, and dry...wonderful! This has a nice crisp, and full mouthfeel, like any APA should which lends to it's very high drinkability.
a beautiful beer!

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Photo of Wamesit
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a bright golden orange with a mild haze. Thick white head that disperses quickly to light lacing.

S - Citrus hops, with some floral elements, over a general malty sweetness. A clean bright aroma.

T - Perfectly balanced. Hops are a bit spicier than the aroma suggests; earthy and floral. Malty dextrin sweetness pulls the flavor back towards a semi-sweet crispness. Truly refreshing.

M - Medium with perfectly accompanying carbonation.

D - Highly drinkable. This is what an American Pale Ale should be!

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Photo of TCJ0100
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Poured into Bloomington Brewing Company stange glass from a 12 oz. bottle from a fresh winter variety pack. Bottled on 9/1/14 which is about as fresh as I have ever had it. It pours clear with an orangish tinge probably due to the caramel malts. Had a decent head that quickly dissipated.

The smell is predominantly earthy hops with a distinct Cascade flavor showing through. I wouldn't really describe this beer as cirtrusy, but it has maybe a touch of grapefruit showing through.

The flavor is very balanced with malts at first, then a grapefruity finish afterwards. It is quite good, and it seems like a very modern sort of beer. Amazing that this was brewed in 1980.

This has changed my outlook on this beer. I drank a 12 pack of cans of this and was not impressed. It's either the freshness or the bottles that make this beer really shine. It is excellent, and it is a testament to how prevalent craft beer is becoming that I can buy this at my local grocery store for nearly the same price I would spend to buy Miller Lite.

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Photo of Pepeton
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, well, well...
It's been a long time since I had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Four years, almost to the day.
So this review might be biased; actually it is.
And since I still have 4 bottles left of it waiting for me I'll rush this review.

Pours a nice orange, golden with a compact white head and beautiful lacing.

Citrusy hop smell surge from my glass, some malts too. Even some spicyness

Taste is amazingly crisp for an ale and medium bodied; I detect something that I haven't noticed before: Faint flavor of turpentine? Pine or Fir sap? Some sort of tree oil? But good.

Great bitter aftertaste that I missed so much (is quite an ordeal to get fine beers down here in México!)

Absolutely great drinkability. Actually I'm going after the remaining four.


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Photo of TongoRad
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After a break I have been drinking this beer quite a bit lately and must say that I am impressed with it all over again. It's a classic in the light caramel/ citrusy hops vein but what I am struck with is just how elegant this beer has become. Residual sweetness, bitterness, malt and hops in the nose- it's all in perfect proportion. This is a real quality APA.

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Photo of CrescentFresh
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My personal favourite of all time. The cascade hops are quite strong but not overbearing. Pours well, smells great, tastes better, feels smooth going down. This is the beer I try to clone whenever I make a batch of home brew. I wanted to rank it a 5, but Sierra Nevada might bring out a new version one day that's even better.

4.5 out of 5 swills, and that's not being generous.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Strong, fluffy, off-white head; Clear amber color liquid with small bubbles. Great lacing.

S: Piney hops, some citrus.

T: Delicious hops of front; touch of malty aftertaste, followed by mouth-watering hoppy bitterness that lingers.

M: Good carbonation, small bubbles, medium fullness.

D: Not enough hops to completely destroy my palate. Balanced; I want more after every sip.

I really like this beer. Right now, if I was craving hops, but didn't want my mouth destroyed, this is what I'd turn to.

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Photo of turkishbacon
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Awesome brew. One of my favorite seasonal beers. The first time I purchased it, I bought a 12 pack after looking the reviews up on here and I was not disappointed. If you find it, buy it. If you enjoy great tasting IPA's, you won't regret it. Cheers, big ears!

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Photo of hlgaskins
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured from a bottle with a light amber leaning slightly toward copper tones crowned with a creamy two inch head that laced the glass with a wintry pattern, and it continued to lace the glass until it was empty.

S- Nice mild bouquet with a hint of citrusy hops and yeast dominating its aroma.

T-The taste of hops is just a little out front but not overpowering (just where I like it in pale ale). The flavors lean away from sweetness toward dry, less malty, which again is a characteristic I highly favor in pale ale. A moderate citrus and pine flavor topped by a well pronounced hops clearly comes through on the back of the palate which complement its well-balanced flavors.

M-Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a nicely carbonated beer that feels almost creamy to the mouth right to the end. Great on a warm summer day!!

D-This is a great alternative for fans of IPA's who are also looking to lower their alcohol intake, carbohydrates, and calories while holding onto some of the attributes that make IPA's such flavorful beers. It's becoming increasingly easy to find across the country which makes it a beer staple for those living in fringe areas with limited choice or traveling by vehicle. I purchase a lot of different quality beers over the course of the year, but this has become in a sense my house beer. I would not only buy it again but have been doing so for some time.

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Photo of lazy8
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle in chilled pint glass

A - Amber/orange with a 1 inch head. Lacing throughout the glass

S - Malt more than hops but both are present

T - A fanstastic American Pale Ale. Malt includes dark, roasted flavors. Hops add bite, while not overpowering the flavor

M - Smooth with noticeable but nice aftertaste. Hop character shines through.

O - The best American Pale that is readily available both at home and in bars/restaurants.

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Photo of WaveRebel51
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hands down, this is my favorite beer and is always in ample supply in my fridge.

This is one of the few beers where the bottle is much better than the tap. The layer of brewer's yeast from the bottle really adds to the appearance. The aroma between draft and bottle are about the same, but the taste and mouthfeel from the bottle version tops the draft. The hop-flavor comes through much better in the bottle.

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Photo of davewrona
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this one! One of the best I have ever had. Tried several other Sierra Nevada products this day and this by far the best one! Not heavy, but not light - just right! I bought a six pack to acquire a taste and ended up forking out $120 to put on a half! Highly recommended!

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Photo of jjanega08
4.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= this was the only problem I had with this beer. Even with the most rigorous pour I didn't get much of a head. It was a very small head and it dissipated very quickly leaving just that thin layer of bubbles so you know its a beer still. It was a deep amber color which was beautiful and you could still see some yeast sediment at the bottom which I liked.
S= very good and floral. I like hoppy beers and this was a great balance with hops and malt.
T= beautiful. Not to hoppy not to malty. great balance
M= Lower carbonation. Not to heavy. good but not great
D= Awesome, great for watching a game and relaxing after a long kayaking trip.

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Photo of DrDoitchbig
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Posting this from notes due to the recent site crash. From now on I'll be saving my reviews on my computer so I can just copy and paste them if such a thing happens again. I know I won't be as happy with this as my original, my notes are just shorthand.

Appearance: Poured somewhat aggressively into my Duvel tulip. The result was a billowing two finger off-white head. Underneath that the beer was a dark amber, bordering on burnt orange. The head diminished throughout and left some minor splotches of lacing.

Smell: That classic Sierra Nevada aroma. Fresh cut pine is the dominant with a hit of lemon-lime citrus just behind it.

Taste: The same wonderful crisp pine and citrus are present from the smell. Following is a great malt backbone that keeps things from getting too hop centric. This beer is just fantastically balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, very smooth and crisp. There is even a bit of creaminess on the finish.

Drinkability: I could honestly drink 10 of these. I finished an entire bomber over the course of this review and frankly I could go for another. For me this is the epitome of session beer.

Overall there may be better American Pale Ales out there, but I haven't had one. Thanks to Sierra Nevada along with Samuel Adams I never have the fear of not being able to find good beer. You can pick this stuff up at just about any place that sells alcohol. It's a good feeling.

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Photo of erosier
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one excellent pale ale. A very nice amber pour with an amber colored head. The head has a nice thickness that goes down slowly and sticks to the sides of the glass nice a nice American Pale Ale. The aroma is really nice with a good mesh of hops and malt that prove to make a nice smelling beer. The taste is exceptional! Nice amount of hops that give it a bitter but light flavor. The malt is blended exceptionally with the hops and a nice fruity undetone finishes nice and clean. The aftertaste is beautiful and the carbonation blends the whole beer very well. Very drinkable if you like Pale Ales. Try this beer. Very good.

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Photo of Gavage
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice light bronze color with a thick head. The aroma is extremely satisfying, huge floral and citrus tones excite the nose. The taste is big - hoppy, sweet, fruity, and smooth. The hops and citrus last long into the aftertaste. This is a perfect example of the ultimate drinkable beer. Continues to be a staple in the refridgerator for me. All american pale ales should try to emulate this.

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass. Nice amber/orange color, with a very good carbonation presence, a nice off-white head, and good lacing. The aroma is dominated by pine and citrus from the getgo, but you can also detect some biscuit and malt in there as well. The taste reveals why so few people have been able to duplicate this pale ale's success; citrus and pine hop flavor gives way to maltiness, which then gives way to a dry finish. Nice medium-bodied and carbonated mouthfeel, with a great dry finish. This beer defines 'session pale ale'.

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Photo of NickRivers
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the ol' 12oz.

A - Super clear copper color with a 1-finger head and some lacing.

S - Caramel malts, piney hops, grassy.

T&M - Super crisp and well carbonated malty taste followed by a little hop taste. Very smooth, never dry.

D - Speaks for itself.

Before having this I was aware of its reputation and had previously tried the wonderful Spring, Summer and Winter seasonals. Even though I had some expieriance under my belt it still shocked me. Super well balanced, perfect light use of hops and malts, really refreshing. I really wish I had tried this earlier. I gave the appearance and smell a 4.5, I wanted to give it a 4, because theres nothing spectacular about it unlike the taste and what have you. It doesn't matter what it looks or tastes like everything else makes up for it. Go out and buy you a Case. can't wait to try Torpedo.

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Photo of taez555
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a creamy white 1/2" inch head with a very clear amber/orange body. A slight yeast/chill haze.

The nose was a beautiful and very inviting even citrus hop/sweet malt nose. The hop dominating a bit.

The taste was a very smooth bitterness, dominated by an up front citrus hop flavor. Did I mention lots of citrus flavor? Classic cascade hop taste. It's almost more an IPA than a basic Pale Ale.
The malts are also very well balanced in this beer. Sweet and smooth. Not as present as the hops, but complimenting them perfectly.
It finishes with a long lingering bitterness that mellows nicely.

Basically this is the beer by which all other American Pale Ales are judged. It's a work of art and holds up no matter how sophisticated you think your beer palate is.

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Photo of dfried
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

If I had to choose one beer to drink for the rest of my life, I would flat out go crazy. But if I could put together a short list of them, this would be my first entry. When I want to enjoy a beer on a hot summer day, this is the first that comes to mind. It has been there for me so many times when I am blind drunk at 1:30am at the bar. Its exquisite pale/mildly-hoppy flavor makes for a truly tasty beer that can be enjoyed in one at a time, or many at a time.

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Photo of mckeowbc
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my all time favorite session beer. It has a nice punch of Cascade hops that give it a nice floral bouquet and clean almost grassy taste without being overbearing. The moderate alcohol content and light malt flavor makes this a beer that is easy to drink and doesn't wear on the palate like heavier or hoppier beers. Also this beer pairs well with almost any food, but beef or spicy barbecue seem the most appropriate.

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Photo of stuckonhops
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-- deep orange surounded by golden hues...light haziness because i turned the bottle to mix up the yeast on bottom..great sticky lacing..

S--musky dank hops...centenial smells on forefront...grassy, earthy, almost woody...like im in a forest in spring..

T--slightly bitter...very balanced carmel flavors..grassy hops...citrusy hops in aftertaste..delish

M--quite smooth...carbonation is tingly...not to sticky..

D-- one of my favs to drink all day...not to high in alcohol either...about to become the new staple in my fridge..

i have had this beer many times before but never reviewed it...now that its been a while since i last had it i figured i'd get to reviewing...now i remember why i used to buy it all the time...time to get more...another great job from sierra nevada...i have never had a bad beer by these guys...all are solid...get some if you never had it..

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Clear orange-amber. Medium bubbles. Off-white beige head with a meringue-like texture. Moderate retention.

Smell: Pronounced butterscotchy diacetyl. Crisp herbal-citric-floral hops. Fresh caramel malts. Orange and white wine notes. Light rosy notes.

Taste: Extremely well-balanced. Fruity notes of white grape and pineapple. Bright citric hops. Very fruity finish. Mild gasoline-like fusel in the background.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and grainy. Clean finish.

Drinkability: Yum. So very good. I've had this beer with many foods and it is quite versatile, but I have never been so pleased as when I matched it with liguini with clams in a simple white wine sauce.

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Photo of jwheeler85
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass:

A- Had a nice medium amber color with a little bit of head

S- Interesting aroma in the sense that I could really smell the hop bitterness and some floral qualities reminiscent of cascade hops. Not sure if that was the type used, it just really reminded me of smelling cascade hops at the homebrew store. Excellent job of showcasing hop potential.

T- Starts of with some hopiness (go figure), then some mild sweetness from the light malts, and then some hop bitterness as a clean finisher.

M- Medium carbonation with a light mouthfeel

D- This has become one of my favorite summertime beers. Not quite as refreshing as some hefewiezens that I've had, gut it's definitely high on the list of thirst quenchers (gatorade is for pussies!). Probably the best pale ale I've had... and they sell cases of it at Trader Joes!

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Photo of Baraka
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Golden color with a solid head. Aroma is weighted heavily towards citrusy west coast hops, although there is a bit of malt balance. Features medium carbonation and an impressive hop bitterness (esp for a pale) that quickly overwhelms any malt present. Crisp and delicious, this is the ultimate session beer.

The quintessential example of an APA, SNPA is simple yet brilliant, and one of the beers that got me into craft beer in general. The perfect pale ale for a hophead as well as a great stepping stone to the world of hoppy beers.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,876 ratings.